Long gone are the days of a cute barista writing their phone number on a coffee cup—people are using straws now. At least according to a Dutch Bros. theory.
Some service industry jobs come with their own special practices and codes among employees, occasionally using them to communicate with customers. From using code words to talk about customers, to using colorful straws, folks have gotten creative with their communications.
Fans of Dutch Bros. Coffee, a drive-thru coffee chain founded in Oregon in 1992 by Dane and Travis Boersma, have come to believe that employees of the company known as “broistas,” a play on the Starbucks barista, are using the company’s signature colorful straws to communicate with them.
One Dutch Bros. Coffee customer says she frequently receives a pink straw in her beverages, which is meant to signify that someone at the coffee stand finds her to be pretty.
In a video posted to TikTok that has drawn over 1.6 million views, musician @jillamillxo shares a Google result suggesting that the pink straws are given to pretty customers, green to those who are “unsightly,” orange for strange folks, yellow to those who are just average, and blue straws are given to rude customers.
The Daily Dot has reached out to @jillamillxo regarding the video via Instagram direct message, as well as to Dutch Bros. Coffee regarding the existence of this “straw system” via email.
The video posted by @jillamillxo uses a sound created by @secret_life_of_gavin, who claims the color of the straw correlates to a message from Dutch Bros. Coffee employees.
“They say that whatever color straw you get from Dutch Bros, the ‘broista’ is trying to tell you something, because they have this secret straw code,” he says. “I don’t know what orange means, let me google this real quick.”
@jillamillxo They always give me pink 💕😁 lol #greenscreen #dutchbros #fyp #busted #coffee ♬ original sound – Gavin
Discussion of the straw code is nothing new—a two-year-old Reddit post to the r/DutchBros subreddit captures how folks claiming to work for the coffee company feel about the idea that straws are used to surreptitiously communicate with customers.
“I work for Dutch and I can tell you 100% we just grab a straw and put it in the drink (pre-COVID),” one user wrote.
“This is quite silly,” another commenter wrote. “Those baristas are far too busy making drinks and throwing straws in drinks to sit there and grab a specific color.”
“Hahahah!! i work at dutch and if i think someone is cute sometimes i’ll give them a pink straw!!!” a user wrote. “Literally everyone gets every straw and there’s no rhyme or reason at all. i absolutely also would NEVER give straws ranking appearance. that’s so mean!!”